US v. Lemuel Sherman

Filing 920081117

Opinion

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 07-5029 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. LEMUEL ZEKENA SHERMAN, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, at Durham. N. Carlton Tilley, Jr., District Judge. (1:07-cr-00026-NCT) Submitted: October 23, 2008 Decided: November 17, 2008 Before NIEMEYER and Senior Circuit Judge. TRAXLER, Circuit Judges, and HAMILTON, Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Louis C. Allen III, Federal Public Defender, William S. Trivette, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Greensboro, North Carolina, for Appellant. Anna Mills Wagoner, United States Attorney, Michael A. DeFranco, Assistant United States Attorney, Greensboro, North Carolina, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Lemuel Zekena Sherman appeals his conviction following his conditional guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a convicted 924(a)(2) district felon, (2006). court in violation to of 18 U.S.C. the to 922(g)(1), plea, the Prior accepting motion guilty suppress denied Sherman's evidence We seized following a vehicle stop in Durham, North Carolina. affirm the denial of his motion to suppress. This court reviews the factual findings underlying a motion to suppress for clear error, and the district court's legal determinations de novo. United States v. Wilson, 484 F.3d 267, 280 (4th Cir. 2007) (citing Ornelas v. United States, 517 U.S. 690, 699 (1996)). When evaluating the denial of a motion to suppress, we review the evidence in the light most favorable to the Government. (4th Cir. 2006). Sherman alleges that there was no reasonable suspicion justifying consistent the with stop the of his vehicle. Amendment, officer "[A]n officer a may, brief, United States v. Uzenski, 434 F.3d 690, 704 Fourth when the conduct has a investigatory articulable stop reasonable, is afoot." suspicion that criminal activity Illinois v. Wardlow, 528 U.S. 119, 123 (2000) (citing Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 30 (1968)). To conduct a Terry stop, there must be "at least a minimal level of objective justification for 2 making the stop." Wardlow, more than 528 a U.S. at 123. less Reasonable than probable suspicion requires hunch but cause, and may be based on the collective knowledge of officers involved in an investigation. See id. at 123-24; see also United States v. Hensley, 469 U.S. 221, 232 (1985). Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the Government, we conclude that the district court did not err when it denied Sherman's motion to suppress. stopped Sherman was an off-duty member of The officer who the Durham Police Department who was working as a security guard at the Varsity Ale House. officer was Shortly after closing, at around 2:15 a.m., the in the restaurant's crowded parking lot when he heard three shots fired. He immediately turned toward where he heard the shots and saw a car rapidly approaching him with its lights off and several security officers pointing at the car and shouting for him to stop it. Under the totality of the circumstances, United States v. Sokolow, 490 U.S. 1, 8 (1989), we find that the officer had reasonable, articulable suspicion to stop Sherman's car. Accordingly, we affirm the district court's judgment. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the court and argument would not aid the decisional process. AFFIRMED 3

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